Trump apparently thinks he deserves credit for staying away from the golf course as victims of the Florida mass shooting are buried.
Trump wants credit for what he apparently believes is the sacrifice he has personally made in the wake of the Florida high school massacre: not golfing.
The White House usually tries to hide Trump’s weekend golf outings. He and his entourage have gone as far as to hide from the cameras, and in one instance apparently enlisted the services of a box truck to block reporters from capturing footage of him golfing.
That all changed this weekend when suddenly, the White House was eager to go on the record about Trump’s plans to not golf.
Speaking to Bloomberg reporter Jennifer Jacobs, Trump’s team made it clear that they wanted it reported that he skipped golfing on Saturday. In a tweet reporting the fact, Jacobs noted, “White House wants to respect the dead and the mourners, I’m told.”
She added, “Mar-a-Lago is only about half an hour from the site of the Parkland school shooting, and memorial services continue.”
The push for positive coverage comes just a few hours after Trump visited the hospital in Parkland without spending much time with victims of the mass shooting or speaking about their plight.
The Washington Post reported that Trump was only in the hospital “for about 35 minutes,” and spent most of his time talking about the response time from EMTs and law enforcement. He completely avoided the issue of gun access and did not publicly greet the families of any children who were killed in the attack.
Not that many affected by the shooting in Florida want to hear from Trump, anyway. who has received millions of dollars worth of support from the NRA in his short time in politics.
Stoneman Douglas student have made clear that they don’t want to hear from Trump and they want action to reduce gun violence. Ameer Hussain, a 15-year-old freshman at the school, told The Daily Beast, “In my opinion I do not want Trump here at all.”
Hussain said Trump would “use this event to make himself look better politically.” He added, “He’s the president and he should be speaking on what he’s going to do to make it better for next time.”
Another student cited Trump’s tweet that cast blame on the shooting victims as a reason why he should stay away. He told the outlet, “Apparently [the president] said it was the kids’ responsibility to report Nikolas Cruz so in a way it was our fault… A lot of people aren’t happy about his visit.”
Senior Trump aides also admitted to the Daily Beast that they are terrified at the optics of a Trump visit to the school. The site notes, “Trump could potentially find himself in a situation in Parkland where he is trapped with grieving parents or students who harangue him about his administration’s position on guns.”
Trump couldn’t emulate the compassion and understanding his predecessor, President Barack Obama, demonstrated often during mass shootings that occurred on his watch. But Trump wants credit for popping his head in at the hospital, and for tearing himself away from the golf course for a change.
Neither behavior does a single thing to reduce gun violence, and Trump continues to work on the NRA’s behalf to maintain the bloody status quo. He just doesn’t want the negative press that comes along with standing with ghouls.